THE FIRM The banking and finance team at Clifford Chance continues to provide an outstanding service to its clients across a broad range of matters. With a global presence in this sphere, it is well placed to accommodate the most complex international transactions, a capacity bolstered by its wider strengths in projects, energy and real estate finance. Its international scope continues to grow, with the recent opening of an office in Istanbul. The firm counts Santander, Barclays Capital and BNP Paribas among its lender clients. It recently acted for the sponsors and borrower Montagu Private Equity in relation to a USD125 million acquisition finance deal, and also acted in the refinancing of De Beers.
Sources say: "They know the market inside out and present us with the solutions rather than the problems." "I am constantly impressed with the consistency of calibre throughout the offices."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Bates is described by sources as "exceptionally able" and "first class." He takes the lead on many of the firm's most prestigious transactions, including the GBP3.4 billion refinancing of De Beers. His substantial experience extends to management buyouts, corporate restructuring and tax.
Mark Campbell has particular strength in the leveraged financing and syndicated loan space, having recently advised Deutsche Bank and RBS in connection with a USD6 billion syndicated revolving credit facility provided to Rio Tinto Finance plc and Rio Tinto Finance Ltd.
Charles Cochrane's clients praise his "outstanding intellect." He is a strong presence in the London market and remains active in the acquisition finance space.
Alan Inglis continues to be involved in high-profile work, including recent advice to EQT on financing for its acquisition of Springer Science + Business Media, which it purchased in tandem with fellow private equity firm GIC. The total deal value was around EUR2.3 billion.
James Johnson's experience in the finance sector is noted by sources, who describe him as "efficient, commercial and committed." He frequently acts on the lender side of transactions. Recent work highlights include acting for the lenders Citi, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan in connection with a EUR1.7 billion revolving credit and high-yield bond financing for Ardagh Glass's acquisition of Impress.
Jim MacHale is commended by clients for his "pragmatic approach." He has a pan-European presence in the banking sphere. His recent workload has included advising Thai Union Frozen Products on financing for its EUR680 million acquisition of MW Brands, a tuna products company, from Trilantic Capital Partners.
James Butters is well known both domestically and internationally for his work in the areas of complex debt and acquisition finance.
Robert Lee is co-head of London's finance team. He frequently advises corporate borrowers and venture capital houses.
Roderick McGillivray has had an active year, which has included advising DSI International and Anheuser-Busch InBev. A significant portion of his work is derived from the retail and healthcare sectors.
Malcolm Sweeting is recognised for his considerable experience in both domestic and global finance matters.